After a fairly dry January, Northern New Mexico is looking forward to a very different February. The beginning of the month brought a strong southerly system through Arizona and New Mexico. Arizona saw a very wet system of higher temperatures leaving much of their drainage with rain on top of higher elevation snow. This storm saw some extremely high flows on the Rio Verde and its many tributaries. At it peak on the last days of January and the first of February, the Rio Verde above Horseshoe Dam reached approximately 17,000 cubic feet per second. Quite an exciting time for Arizona boaters who were willing to dodge the many trees and large pieces of debris traveling downstream at the same time. Luckily, the system arrived in Northern New Mexico with much cooler temps and left a nice addition to our high elevation snow pack and specifically water content. As we look far into the future, forecasting for the entire month has been predicted as WET, making this good news for New Mexico rafting season 2013. Normally, I trust these long term forecasts about as far as I can throw them. However, with optimism driving me through the spring, I’m happy to announce that the next low pressure storm cycle is at our doorstep. Taos Ski Valley is reporting 8 inches in the last 24 hours and another 14-16 inches predicted for the next 48 hours. This all adds up to a growing snow pack and a healthy spring run-off for Northern New Mexico Rivers such as the Rio Grande and Rio Chama. As we approach the middle of February, things over all are looking very promising for New Mexico rafting season 2013. As with most years in New Mexico, the high water predictions can never be proclaimed until well into March and April as cool temps and more snow during these times are typically what guarantees the higher flows for the season. However, that being said, unlike most whitewater rafting destinations, Northern New Mexico will always be favored in my eyes as the Lower Rio Grande Gorge is a spectacularly fun and exciting trip at all water flows, low or high. For that reason, we are lucky to be able to enjoy New Mexico river rafting all the way through the end of September and into October! Lucky Us…but lets still pray for snow!